Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another dead technology: the horseless carriage

I love finding new blogs about grid computing, and I did just that over the weekend. Guy Tel-Zur's Blog is "Mainly dedicated to IT, Parallel Processing and Grid Computing."

But I have to take issue with the first post I found: The End of Grid Computing? Guy says that "something is not going well with 'Grid Computing.'"

His evidence? Google Trends. He notes that the term "grid computing" is not as commonly searched-for as it once was, and concludes that something is not going right. I think there's a far simpler explanation, however: I think people aren't using the term "grid computing" as much as they used to.

To test my hypothesis, I looked at the Google Trends for "Information Superhighway." Not surprisingly, it turned up no results. Now, in 1996, this was almost a standard synonym for "internet." As far as I can tell, the internet is alive and well despite the lack of searching on "information super highway."

Simply put, the term "grid computing" is going out of fashion (and for good reason). As far back as 2005, I posted on the fact that the term meant so many different things to so many different people, it was effectively useless. To some people, "grid computing" means harnessing individual machines for SETI. To some Oracle, it's a clustered database. To others, it's two clusters. To others, it's a cluster with heterogeneous hardware.

Guy notes that since 2003, the term virtualization has increased its Google Trends momentum--he failed to note that companies like Platform Computing and DataSynapse no longer use "grid computing" in their marketing materials, preferring the trendier "application virtualization."

So, no, grid computing is not dead. But "grid computing" may be on its way out.

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